Puzzles are at the core of Adventure gameplay, they provide challenges for you to overcome with brains rather than brawn. For Action Adventures, they offer a break from the hacky-slashy-stabby-shooty element of title.
Every week I’ll bring you a new puzzle, drawn from some of the best and worst adventure or puzzle games I’ve ever played. Every two weeks I’ll even leave you one of my own for you to solve. If you do, I’ll find a way to reward you!
Last week I left a nice riddle, and someone solved it! The answer was Eclipse.
For this week’s puzzle I’ll go to a game many of you won’t have played but I enjoyed and even reviewed last year: Dracula 3 – The Path of the Dragon. In this game, you pay as Father Arno, a catholic priest sent to Romania to investigate a candidate for sainthood, a local doctor in a small village.
The puzzle you find in Budapest, in the library of Irina Boczow, the foremost expert on vampire lore, as Arno is trying to find the origins of the mysterious Path of the Dragon Vlad Dracula supposedly went through to become a vampire. At least according to folklore.
For this puzzle, you need to open a box with locker like dials, each with a different letter. To find the keyword you need to solve a riddle:
If you wish to contemplate a hidden, terrible and cruel beauty, yet admirable to the sight, know that the green truth may be read in a circle which you will follow in the right direction…
On top of the box is a page from a medieval book, complete with coloured letters. To solve the puzzle you need to draw a circle that hits just the right letters, so you may find the word needed to open the box.
When I first bought the Dracula Trilogy bundle on GoG.com I didn’t know they were first person adventures like Myst. I didn’t really like that type of adventure. But Dracula 3 made me a fan and with this puzzle it showed me just how creative the designers were. There are many possible letters you can combine but only one circle gives you the answer. Even figuring out what you need to do to get those letters can take some thinking as there’s no obvious hint of what you should use. Of all the puzzles in this game this is the one I remember the most as I spent a while looking for the answer, running around the rooms trying to find a solution before deciding I had to think it through on my own. I thought there would be more clues but I had already been told everything I needed.
I just needed to put the noggin to work. Some say the best adventure game puzzles are those hard ones that lead to a “Eureka!” moment when you figure it out, and this puzzle was it for me!
If you haven’t played Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon, you should do so at once. It has nothing to do with Dracula 1 & 2, so you can skip those. They’re terrible anyway. If you have, tell me about your favourite puzzle!